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State officials have been given the go-ahead to pay a construction manager up to $1.75 million to oversee the building of facilities that would be used for the 1998 Winter Games.

After repeated questions about the need for a construction manager on the $26.3 million project, members of the Utah Sports Authority voted Wednesday to allow the contract to be awarded as soon as Thursday.The construction manager will oversee the building of the winter sports park facilities that will be used for training and competitions, including an Olympics if Salt Lake City is selected in June to host the 1998 Winter Games.

If Salt Lake City is chosen, the bob sled and luge track, ski jumps and other facilities will be upgraded using the millions of dollars in revenues expected from hosting the Winter Games.

The state Division of Facilities Construction Management traditionally acts as a construction manager on projects funded from state tax dollars, division Director Neal Stowe told the Sports Authority.

But he said hiring a construction manager will put the projects on a "fast track" because work on the different facilities will be better coordinated. The winter sports park is scheduled to be finished in November 1992.

The amount of money the construction manager will be paid by the state is based on a percentage of the overall cost of the project. The exact amount will depend on which of the more than a dozen bids submitted for the job is accepted.